365 points by fredley 7 days ago
No it's not? I've been on YTMND for over 10 years so this was very sad and nostalgic for me.
But I went to ytmnd.com and it was giving some PHP database errors.
And now they have a status message:
> rip db
>YTMND is down for temporary maintenance. This gives us time to optimize the database, free up unused space, deploy new features, and generally just break stuff. This should not take very long, so feel free to stick around and chat or go away. If you have any trouble accessing the site, or concerns about the direction in which your life is heading, feel free to send an email to support @ ytmnd.com (and expect to be ignored).
edit: It seems this is all very poor reporting. Gizmodo, et al have jumped on the story. YTMND has shut down!
All based on some speculation on a forum because the site was down for a while?
Now it says:
YTMND has suffered a catostrophic failure. Whether or not the site will ever be back is still undecided. I am actively working on data recovery, but who really knows what the future holds. Join the chat to reminisce, or if you have concerns about the direction in which your life is heading, feel free to send an email to support @ ytmnd.com (and expect to be ignored).
Ok, we put that in the title above. Submitted title was "YTMND has shut down". Thanks!
Seems you're the only person that tried actually going to the website, where this message is prominently displayed.
When this was originally posted, there was no message; the page just didn't load.
to be fair, i went there, saw rip and didn't read further :)
Seems like a "Death of Superman" style marketing ploy.
Probe for interest and defibrilate the franchise with a shock to the system.
Dump a bunch of publicity that "twinkies" are at risk of disappearing forever, unless [insert emotional blackmail]. Then, for about six months, enjoy renewed interest and a little bit of merchandizing funds in the form of t-shirt sales and the like.
If succesful, a boost of fresh blood enters the community for a short period of time, and the tailings of any looming debt can be reconciled before executing a cleaner exit from public operations.
RIP. This whole phenomenon was wildly popular with my friend group back in the day. In 2001, the original yourethemannowdog.com went down for a bit and I put up a mirror at a similar domain. It started gaining in popularity, prompting YTMND creator Max Goldberg to send me a realistic looking but ultimately fake email from a supposed law firm threatening me with a cease and desist (unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of this email). We all had a good laugh about that, and the original site was back up soon after. I never would've guessed it would blow up as a meme the way it did.
Edit: It turns out I had the year of the cease and desist wrong; it was 2002. I'm amused that evidence still exists of my small contribution to this meme.
I hope someone accurately attributes SomethingAwful.com to these early iconic internet memories.
Image macros, the lowest form of comedy on SA, became memes and is still the lowest form of comedy.
SA truly had a massive effect on Internet culture as a whole, something I rarely see attributed to them. Spent quite a lot of time on that site as an adolescent.
For the influence SA had and the business it currently is -- it's incredible. Impact:value is so out of line. An analysis of how Lowtax failed to become a billionaire and has to sell coffee mugs and t-shirts or whatever the business model is would be a good read.
SA was my first paywall for content, my first micro-transaction (forum avatars, titles, etc.). There were elements of reputation and social networking. I don't know how it all went so wrong.
SA was very influential, but how could Lowtax have become a billionaire from it? I'm not sure obscure Internet comedy is all that lucrative.
I was being hyperbolic about the billionaire claim. Mainly SA was ahead of its time on what the internet could be. What people were willing to pay for and what makes a good community. It failed to take any of those ideas outside the realm of a comedy forum, which isn't a bad thing, maybe Lowtax was happy with that.
I'm wistfully in what-could-have-been mode since the products I use these days (Reddit, Twitter) are a poor approximation for what SA was at its height.
I'm not so sure, plenty of people became billionaires from the trends that directly originated at SA.
Tyler Malka (Evilore) of Neogaf (gaming forum) boasted many times about being a millionaire from ads.
tumblr was sold for $1.1 billion, and it's largely obscure Internet comedy.
Tumblr is a lot closer to a social network than a forum, and I'd say only a small subset of it is comedy. Also, Tumblr has 460 million registered accounts and SA has 200k. That's probably partly because it costs $10 to sign up on SA, so alt accounts are uncommon, whereas accounts are cost-free on Tumblr, so some people may have many alt accounts. But Tumblr still gets way more traffic.
I haven't used SA; how did it go wrong?
Signup fee for an internet forum and the occasional over-moderation kept the userbase from really exploding. On the other hand had this theoretically has kept the level of the remaining discourse high for the remaining users.
There's a joke about one of these events.
One year the SomethingAwful.com forum moderators got annoyed at the annoying anime fans, so they banished them. 4chan was born, yadda yadda, Donald Trump is elected president.
So...it didn't go wrong? Why should the ultimate goal of a forum be growth?
And, I don't think you can blame SA for 4chan, nor 4chan for trump. Both trump and 4chan meet a demand, and that demand would have been filled, one way or another.
Chris Poole (Moot) founded 4chan after being banned from SA (in the version I heard it was on accusations of pedophilia, because anyone who finds anime characters attractive is clearly a pedophile). SA was far more influential in creating and shaping 4chan than anything else, even the Japanese forums it was imitating (2chan, etc.)
Would there still be something that fits roughly the same niche as 4chan, if 4chan didn't exist? Most likely yes. But it wouldn't be anything like the 4chan we know today.
The SA moderators are extremely touchy about pedophilia and will permaban with basically just an anonymous accusation and maybe some fabricated "evidence". They also don't respond to appeals.
I seem to recall them charging a small amount to open an account there, which meant I, as well, a child back then, never was able to access it. I feel like I missed out.
I've heard that dril on Twitter is actually Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka from SA, can anyone confirm/deny?
It's not Lowtax, but some of the most prevalent "weird twitter" accounts, like @fart and @dril established their brand of humor at SA: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nzg4yw/fuck-you-and-die-a...
Fart is still around on SA related places
dril and many other Weird Twitter posters are migrants from the FYAD subforum on Something Awful, which had similarly absurdist memes.
Nah, Lowtax was banned from twitter and created another account to whine about it, something he would be banned quickly for in his own forum.
Lowtax also got shadowbanned on Youtube apparently. He had been making all of these videos that would basically never show up in search results. There is something to be said for sticking to your own forum I guess.
If you get banned from SA you just have to rebuy your account.
Permabans are not common.
I can confirm that I want this to be true, at the least.
dril was doxed a couple of years ago. You can google around for his real name, which is not Richard Kyanka.
Wrong. dril is funny.
I miss Photoshop Phridays. I mean they still exist but somehow the spark is gone. Back in 2000-2001 we used to wait for them religiously.
Does SA predate 4chan?
4chan was born of a banned SA user.
This is a great interview about Something Awful featuring creator Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka. The Something Awful forums had a board called Fuck You and Die, which was a predecessor to 4chan's /b/. YTMND's lineage to SA is acknowledged here as well.
If you used to post on the SA forums, you'll probably get a load of nostalgia hearing this again
(this was the background music of the board where deleted threads went to die)
moot stopped posting at SA many years ago, but he isn't banned. https://forums.somethingawful.com/member.php?action=getinfo&... is him.
4chan started on one of the ytmnd test servers. I might still have a screenshot of that somewhere.
4chan was largely populated by SA users and anime nerds in it's earliest days.
Even if it doesn't (and it does, see in same chain), it almost certainly is the progenitor of the prevailing culture found on 4chan. Maybe not the current trend as of recent, but definitely at it's peak.
SA has a strong competitor in b3ta, which really brought the art of the photochop to levels unseen elsewhere.
YTMND was the first time the notion of memes (in the dawkins sense of the word) made literal sense to me. There were a somewhat limited number of themes/motifs -> memes that you'd see combined and recombined. Some were more pervasive than others. Most of them spread with little to no relation to their original meaning/purpose/context. It was interesting to watch the meta level of the thing
Nothing makes this less sad. Not even Doom music.
Wanted: someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke.
This thread contains references to a film called "Safety Not Guaranteed" . ;)
No, the film was an adaptation of a classified ad that was popularized by a YTMND page.
Oh really?! Wow, I had no idea.
You’ve got it backwards
The meme predates the film.
Nedm is another meme.
I officially am a boomer spotcorrecting ancient memes
Sorry, that meme started on YTMND in 2005 based on a post in a newspaper from the 90s. Saying the references in this thread are of the movie is like saying any mention online of "Gandalf" is a reference to the Lego Lord of the Rings game.
Are you saying that Lego Gandalf travelled back in time to retcon himself into popular fiction?
I wonder whether the original comment about "doom music" is also a reference to the film? I had never heard of it.
It's the other way around, the film is based on a classified ad, which many years earlier was a YTMND meme/fad.
NEDM is also a classic YTMND meme. https://doom.fandom.com/wiki/NEDM
It has a complicated origin, but a lot of YTMND was organic and weird like that.
I just assumed it was about ytmnd.
Can you guarantee safety?
Maybe if you provide your own weapons...
How many times have you done this before?
Please for the love of everything, let's go. I'm in. This is not a joke.
Not even bill murray?
It's a shame this has happened. I wonder to what extent this has been archived, I've taken a quick glance at it on archive.org, and it seems the main page has been well archived but I'd be sceptical if any of the "deeper" pages so speak were archived.
It makes me wonder what will happen with similar online communities as time drags on, and makes me sort of concerned for them too and the content that could be lost due to their disappearance.
With the web going forward, it seems as if similar memetic communities will primarily exist on platforms such as reddit, and possibly tumblr?
"YOU'RE THE ARCHIVE NOW, DOG: Archive Team took a full copy of You're The Man Now Dog (YTMND) last year - should be playable in Wayback Machine now or soonish."
Link to the top viewed YTMNDs from tweet replies:
Bless them, I should donate a little extra just for this.
Remember Archive Team is not Archive.org.
Who is Archive Team?
Preserving a great part of the early Internet, back when the Internet was weird and great.
It’s still weird and great, just not public and you’re not cool enough to get invited.
Greatest open secret of the last 5 internet years: Real social media happens in private chatrooms and group “texts”. People are tired of posting publicly.
I'm cool enough to be invited or at least grandfathered-in to some of them but it's not the same. You can't just go online and find a different weird community every evening like you used to 15 years ago.
Also, with the tightening of privacy, there's less and less recruitment going on which makes me pessimistic as to the long-term viability of these private groups and forums. They seem to be slowing down with fewer posts every month. Many smaller ones which made the transition from IRC to webforum to some modern software are a pale shade of their former selves even when the Internet around them has been booming.
A core part of the early weird internet was the fact that you could stumble into it entirely accidentally. Private communities can be great, but they're a very different thing.
yup - there are a million weird telegram, discord and IRC groups out there if you look for them.
Which is kind of a shame because it means most of that will be lost to the sands of time.
I always saved the wav/mp3 and gif files of the ones I liked the most. I do this for all sites I like because inevitably, they vanish and rarely render correctly on archive.org.
My favorite was "amorningfilledwith400billionsuns" - or also known as "A Still More Glorious Dawn Awaits sagan" with the auto-tuned version of Carl Sagan singing about our possible future.
Hard to pick a single favorite actually. There were so many great ones.
The actual song is still available - it's by an artist called melodysheep.
I'm not sure to what extent YTMND itself would be archivable. The last I saw it it loaded frames with some Flash loader, which handled sync with the audio (as opposed to the very early YTMNDs which were just a gif/audio and text).
Places like tumblr and reddit are much more easily archivable as they're just text and image files, and now video files which with modern web standards can just be grabbed as is and put into archival systems with automatic transcoding as standards change.
I just hope whoever was running it at the end makes the archive publicly available.
The Wayback Machine version works fine for me in Safari, but it's just a matter of time until Flash is completely dead. http://web.archive.org/web/20190402083155/http://ckjcwf.ytmn...
edit: ironically, one of the non-flash versions doesn't work in Safari since it doesn't like a raw MP3 file in an OBJECT tag. The MP3 file is there though. https://web.archive.org/web/20060603154932/marioteachesptkfg...
Was it loading any Flash or it was a Flash app provided by the website that you could upload your content to?
I know of a certain adult website which hosts "webteases", which are basically interactive/choose your own adventure slideshows. The content was originally provided with Flash, but now they reworked it to use HTML5 and most of the content seems to work because it was using the website provided framework for the content.
IIRC, you would upload wav or mp3 to YTMND, and then it would play back in Flash. I think it worked like this for one or both of these reasons:
1. Syncing the audio and video. It is difficult to sync a gif with audio. They have to be started at the exact same time, be the exact same length, and never get out of sync due to lag/stutter. This wasn't important for early YTMNDs, but mattered later when people created what were disparagingly referred to as "___ short films".
2. Bandwidth. I think Max had said the Flash solution was more efficient than serving the raw audio and gif. Think of it as an early version of WebM.
I think the use of Flash could be controlled on a per-YTMND basis - the creator could disable the use of Flash. And/or maybe it was that Flash was only used for animated gifs?
You can view most pages by going to:
This works for me even on iPad, so no Flash is needed. Also, you can search by tweaking the end of this URL:
It will only work for search result pages Archive.org saved, and only for the first page of results, but they archived a LOT of them, so most relatively common search terms should work.
The archived YTMND also has a comprehensive list of "fads", which is great for context and examples:
Also, the most-viewed YTMNDs of all time:
Lastly, this MetaFilter post I did rounded up some of my favorites:
It's as if millions of memes suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
Yesterday, driving back to work from my lunch break, I thought to myself "What was that old site with the acronym? ytm-something? You're the man now dog? What the hell was that site?"
I was never a user, don't enjoy memes at all, but for some reason they were in my head yesterday.
Who else remembers the first time they saw Blue Ball Machine?
I do! The blue ball machine started when someone on SA posted a template gif which other people used to make their own tile of the machine. You just had to make sure the balls entered and exited in the same spot. I made the one where the ball gets frozen in ice. Then all the tiles were combined into a single gif. I remember being disappointed when the version that went viral only included half of the tiles that people submitted.
If you're looking for a short injection of YTMND nostalgia:
We Didn't Start This Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-DMIf-WZYU
Goodnight, sweet prince.
YTMND was a bit before my time, but I can appreciate it's place in early "meme culture". At least Something Awful is still around.
Sad. Back in 2000-2002 I was in grad school and I have fond memories of setting the home page on the shared imacs to YTMND with the volume turned all the way up and hearing it go off when someone would open up the browser.
This is crazy - was just browsing through the site a bit last week. I just finished a project partially inspired by YMNTD and spent some time... getting inspired. A lot of the pages didn’t seem to have working audio - perhaps modern browsers don’t allow what YMNTD required. (It seems that gifsound.com has also had to adapt over time - you have to click a few times to get it to play, to work around autoplay restrictions.) I didn’t check, but I imagine the site didn’t work at all on iOS.
Wow, strong nostalgia. I haven't thought about that site since about 2006. What a strange and beautiful thing it was. I still never felt like I really understood it.
You're the past now, dog?
Can you believe it you've already finished C, think you can do Matlab?
think you can do matlab? you can't even do C
Here's my YTMND story.
My freshman year of college, 06/07, my roommate spent a boatload of time on his laptop at his desk; he'd sleep in, skip class, and stay up late, spending all his time on his laptop. I peeked over his shoulder a few times, and he was just browsing YTMND constantly.
Anyways, at the end of the year in the start of finals week, somebody started knocking on our door at like 7am or something, some time that's ungodly early for a college student. As soon as I stumble over and open up the door, somebody says, "This is the FBI, we have a warrant to search your room" while naming my roommate.
Turns out it wasn't a prank, the actual FBI was raiding my dorm room to find my roommate. They took me into a lounge "to ask some questions" and I was too young to have fully developed my "don't talk to the cops" senses, so I went along with it. They asked me a bunch of questions about my roommate (what classes is he taking, what's his major, what are his hobbies, how does he spend his time) and when they asked about his hobbies I had to say "well, he mostly spends a lot of time browsing You The Man Now Dog online".
The fbi, of course, asks for clarification. I don't know if you've ever had to explain the idea behind YTMND to the FBI when you're a 19 year old college student at 730 am on a wednesday during finals week, but let me tell you: it's not fun.
"It's a website where people make other websites that feature a tiled image background, a looping sound clip, and some kind of word art over everything."
They look at each other, shrug, and continue with the questions until we get to "Have you ever seen your roommate do anything inappropriate near a child", which is probably the closest i've gotten to an actual record-scratch moment in real life. I explain that i've never seen my roommate outside of our dorm room, let alone off the college campus, and there just aren't that many kids around. After that, they conclude the questioning and let me know that they believe there's evidence of federal crimes on my roommate's laptop.
So we go back to the room, the other agents have finished confiscating his laptop, it's around 745am, and my roommate rolls over and goes back to sleep. So I'm like, "dude, do you want to explain to me why the fbi felt the need to come to our room at 7 in the morning and take away your laptop?"
He says, "Oh, I was posting links to child pornography on YTMND and so now they think there's child porn on my laptop."
I say, "Did it ever occur to you that that was a really fucking stupid idea?"
He goes, "yeah well I know that NOW", in the most incredulous tone of voice, like he couldn't believe the FBI agents didn't understand that he was doing this as a joke and not out of an earnest love for CP.
Later that day he called his parents and left without packing up his stuff, and I never heard from him again; he did not continue to matriculate and I have no idea how his whole saga wrapped up.
But now it's impossible for me to think of YTMND without a) wondering what the fuck my roommate was thinking and b) remembering the time I had to explain the idea of stupid internet memes to federal agents.
> I don't know if you've ever had to explain the idea behind YTMND to the FBI when you're a 19 year old college student at 730 am on a wednesday during finals week, but let me tell you: it's not fun.
Almost weeping with laughter. I can't say I've ever had that specific experience but I've certainly dealt with clients where it's felt a lot like I imagine that would feel.
You'll Always Be The Man Forever Dog
(Refresh to sync)
I only checked out again ytmnd a couple of days ago and left after I saw that all pages required flash. (Was that always the case? I thought it only required basic HTML)
That was a feature they added later on when people started making pages that required the audio to be in sync with the gif. Flash would wait until both were fully loaded to start playing them.
Myself as well. Something reminded me of the Jean Luc Picard song and it popped up in my search results which sent me checking out a few old ones.
jean luc picard
u s s
en ter prise
probably for audio
If the audio doesn't work, click one of the arrows in the top archive.org bar to go to another page. It doesn't appear to work if you load the page, but it does work after navigating.
Don’t forget YesYes and Typing Noises
I always liked Mario Teaches Punch the Keys For God Sake:
We are all prisoners of time
Very sad. It's impossible to explain to someone what YTMND was like in 2004 if they didn't experience it themselves.
At least leekspin.com continues!
Us old school WoW WSG veterans will miss catchthatdruid.ytmnd.com :/
Well, there goes my tiny bit of internet fame. (hint: 22/7)
I wonder did they try to hand it all off to archive.org first
You will be missed, old friend.
you were the man then, dog
It's really easy to perform a conversion of what you describe, for the sake of publishing an archive.
Extracting audio from flash objects is trivial, and coverting HTML frames to a single page format is a basic markup task, using divs.
This stuff is so easy, you could not only automate it, but build an abstraction layer to convert it on demand or even client-side, with a JS library.
Anyway, as the GP implies, the archive was likely performed collaboratively, with the consent and direct assistance of YTMND. Why else would they have closed user registration, but left the site available for a full year.
The writing was on the wall.
The internet before peer-to-peer MP3 file sharing was ruined by child pornography and spyware, because piracy.
Is no one going to talk about the implicit racism of the site and its community?
I'm just waiting for resetera to die.
Good riddance. Nothing but poop on that site.
YTMND was the birthplace of Initial D memes, which, to me at least, never get old.
Don't see why you would need a whole site to do what you can run off an instagram account
Instagram wasn't launched until 9 years after YTMND
Hint: Instagram didn't exist in 2001
and it wouldn't have if it weren't for these types of sites!